How to Vacuum a Fine Handmade Rug

Vacuuming a rugHow to Vacuum a Fine Handmade Rug

Caring for your fine handmade rug doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is important you do so properly. You need to approach cleaning armed with knowledge about your rug. Depending on the age and materials your rug is made of, you may or may not be able to vacuum your rug with the beater brush.

For example, an antique rug should never be vacuumed with the beater brush in almost any circumstance. However, if your rug is fairly new and has a dense, thick pile, the beater brush setting may be okay. In fact, it may even buff your rug and give it more shine. But choosing to use the beater brush must be done carefully and knowledgeably.

Wool is one of the materials that may become more lustrous with vacuuming. However, not all wool rugs should be vacuumed with the beater brush. Wool rugs should be gently vacuumed two to four times a month, as these rugs can shed easily.

If you have a silk rug, in most cases you should vacuum without the beater brush. Silk fibers are the most delicate of rug materials and can be damaged if you use a beater or roller brush. The pile can even be reduced and the rug itself may suffer damage such as sprouting. Silk rugs may be vacuumed as often as twice per week.

If your rug is not handmade, or if it is made of synthetic fibers, it may be okay to vacuum with the beater brush. Viscose silk, or artificial silk should be vacuumed with suction only.

Once a year, you should vacuum the back of your rug.

Another thing you can do to rejuvenate the pile of your rug is sweeping. This is the safest technique as opposed to vacuuming of any kind. Using a traditional straw broom, sweep in the direction of the nap. To determine the direction of the nap, rub your hand along the length (not the width) of the rug. You want to sweep in the direction where the pile comes towards you. Don’t sweep against the knap (the direction in which the pile goes away from you). Start sweeping in a corner of the rug, beginning in a corner where you do not end up walking on the swept portions.

If you aren’t sure about your rug, bring it to the experts at Behnam Rugs. We will share our generations of knowledge and expertise to with you, we will be able to let you know the best way to care for your fine rug, and whether vacuuming is recommended.

Never vacuum your rug with the beater brush if you are unsure about its construction. This can lead to sprouting, which can be rectified by cutting the knot heads even with the length of the pile. However, this can still mean your pile is depleted, leaving you with a thinner rug although the knot heads will no longer be visible. It is quite difficult to thicken a rug that has been thinned by sprouting. When in doubt, don’t use the beater brush!

Are Robotic Vacuums Safe for Rugs?

Roomba damaging a rugAre Robotic Vacuums Safe for Rugs?

It’s a tale as old as time- a customer brings their fine handmade rug in for repairs at Behnam Rugs because they believe their dog has chewed it. While this does happen, the more likely culprit is actually your vacuum cleaner, especially automatic robot vacuums. Robotic vacuums spell disaster for your precious rugs.

Rug Damage: How to Tell the Difference Between Pet Damage and Vacuum Damage

So, how can I tell if Spot chewed my rug or if the vacuum cleaner is to blame?

Well, when dogs chew on rugs, they typically remove whatever they have been chewing on completely, leaving a torn spot. Whereas robotic vacuums and vacuuming with a beater brush chews up the edges of your rug but leaves the damage without removing it. Vacuums almost always damage the corners of a rug. They can’t tell a stray piece of yarn from handmade fringe, which is the first casualty when it comes to robotic vacuum damage. Still unsure if your dog is responsible for the damage or the vacuum? Check out the image below.

Rug chewed by dog

As you can see, the dog damage looks like someone hacked the edge off the rug with very dull scissors. On the other hand, the vacuum damage creates torn fringe and a look that says, “I’ve been chewed up!” Robotic vacuums and the beater brush simply don’t have enough power to remove the damage they cause. Instead, they chew the edges without removing them, resulting in tears, damaged fringe, and general unraveling.

So, what can you do to prevent vacuum casualties? Don’t use robotic vacuums! And never vacuum with the beater brush. You may be wondering how you will clean your fine rug. Luckily, vacuuming is completely safe when vacuuming without an extension or beater brush. Sadly, it’s probably time to retire your robotic vacuum. However, having to put a bit more effort into cleaning your home is a small price to pay for a rug in perfect condition. As for dog damage, this is harder to prevent. Keeping an eye on your pet and not leaving them unsupervised with a fine rug is about the extent of preventative measures.

If your fine handmade rug has been chewed up by vacuum or dog, don’t despair! Bring it to the experts at Behnam Rugs. Most damage done by these culprits can be repaired. The value of your rug won’t be the same, but repairs can restore at least some of the worth to your rug.